Patrice Bergeron, Patrick Marleau and Matt Duchene were willing to adapt to different roles and returned from Sochi with gold medals.
It was a lesson that wasn’t lost on 20-year-old Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad.
While Zibanejad didn’t particularly enjoy the end result — Canada rolling over his native Sweden in Sunday’s Olympic men’s hockey championship game — he couldn’t help but notice how Bergeron, Marleau and Duchene accepted the opportunity to play as wingers instead of their more natural roles as centres with National Hockey League teams.
On a considerably smaller stage, Zibanejad, who has 11 goals and 13 assists in 49 games, is singing a similar tune. He insists it’s no big deal where Senators coach Paul MacLean uses him.
“I feel like it’s a bigger deal for you guys than to me, to be honest,” Zibanejad said following Tuesday’s spirited practice at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin, where he lined up as a centre with Binghamton call-up Mike Hoffman on his left side and wit